Ofgem Chooses Equitix, Amp Capital and Balfour Beatty as Preferred Bidders for High-Voltage Link (UK)


Equitix, Amp Capital and Balfour Beatty Consortium Appointed as Preferred Bidder for High-Voltage Link to Greater Gabbard Offshore Windfarm

Green Energy Transmission (GET), a consortium comprising Equitix Ltd and AMP Capital Investors, together with Balfour Beatty Capital Limited has been selected by Ofgem E-Serve as the preferred bidder to own and operate the high voltage transmission link to the 500 MW Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm.

The GET Balfour Beatty consortium was selected following a tender process run by Ofgem E-Serve in which bidders compete to become offshore transmission owners (OFTOs). Greater Gabbard is the largest of the nine offshore wind farms to be involved in the first round of tenders to run offshore links which took place last year. The forecast value of the assets to be transferred to the prospective OFTO is £316.6m.

The selection of the consortium brings in further new investors to the offshore transmission regime, namely Equitix Ltd and AMP Capital Investors, alongside Balfour Beatty Capital Limited, who are also the preferred bidder for the Thanet project.

The decision on this project means all nine projects in the first transitional tender round now have preferred bidders identified. The first project (Robin Rigg) reached financial close and licence grant in early March 2011. Overall the first tender round attracted almost £4 billion worth of investment appetite to own and operate £1.1 billion worth of links.

Ofgem E-Serve’s Managing Director, Commercial, Robert Hull, said: “Appointing a preferred bidder for the Greater Gabbard project, the largest project in the first transitional tender round, marks another important milestone for the offshore transmission regime. The introduction of two new investors also provides further evidence that the OFTO regime can deliver the billions of pounds of investment required to deliver the UK’s renewable targets and cost savings for customers and developers. We now look forward to working with the developer and preferred bidder to ensure the OFTO is in place as soon as possible.”

Last month Ofgem announced a short list of four bidders competing to own and run links to a further three offshore wind farms which are part of the second transitional tender round. The shortlisted bidders for the second tender round are competing to own and run connections to the Gwynt y Môr, Lincs and London Array (phase 1) offshore wind projects.


Source: ofgem, May 26, 2011